IN THE WORDS AS SENT TO US BY THE VICTIM...
At the beginning of February I received a friend request from a certain Mark L. Stewart. I never accept any friend requests from unknown people – now I accepted it, it was kind of temporary insanity, I don’t know. I checked this man’s account and I thought, oh, yes, he could be a relative as we have folks in the States (I’m from Hungary in Europe, I live there). I don’t know if this Mark Stewart is a fake account (I found a certain Mark James Stuart scam from 2019) or this account exists, but it has been hacked.
You can find this account on Facebook (unfortunately I can’t check it any more as I deleted and blocked it, so I can’t send you the Facebook link) if it is still there.
There are tons of men on Facebook named Mark Stewart. This man is older, about 70 years old, decent-looking, living in Laguna Beach (according to his account of course). In his profile photo you can see him lying on the ground and being licked by a French bulldog. There isn’t too much information about him: he’s widowed, he’s an orthopaedic surgeon and has some pictures and videos of himself. His last video was posted sometime in January: he is sitting in a football stadium and wishing a Happy New Year. That’s why I thought he’s a decent man. But now I know that wasn’t the man I was chatting to.
After accepting his friend request I totally forgot about him, but he sent me a message on February 4, it was a Saturday. He wrote: “Hello, how are you doing?”
First I thought I shouldn’t answer but I had second thoughts: Oh, he’s just an old, decent man, I shouldn’t be rude or impolite not to answer. So I wrote: Hello, thank you, I’m good, but have we met before?” And he wrote, he was sorry, he didn’t mean to intrude, but when he had seen my photo, he had just looked at it, how beautiful and eye-catching I was. Well, I thought at the moment that it was awkward and embarrassing. I’m 44, this man could be my father.
Of course, I wrote him that I had just happened to accept his request because I had thought we were related.
Then he continued, he wrote that he lived in Laguna Beach, California, but now he was working on charity in Yemen and he was an orthopaedic surgeon. He asked me where I live, he wanted to know about Hungary. So I thought, oh well, that is an intelligent, friendly old gentleman, who is open to the world. And I have always wanted to have a native-speaker pen friend – as I can speak English very well, but here in Hungary I hardly ever have a chance to talk to anyone in English. So I wrote some information about Hungary, the weather, the culture and the food.
And then he asked me if I was married. I said yes. He asked how long we had been together with my husband and if I loved him or we just enjoyed our company. I answered, of course, I love him – now I already know he was just trying to map my relationship with my partner.
And then he told me about his private life. He’s widowed, he lost his wife in 2018 – she suffered from Parkinson disease, their daughter died when she was delivering her son 13 years ago so he has a grandson of 13. Tragic life, isn’t it?
I didn’t suspect then. He asked me about my family and told me he envied me for having a big family, siblings etc. Because he’s been lonely and alone since his wife’s demise and he has only his grandson who will be 13 and always the reminder of his daughter’s death.
He told me he has few friends they are doctors in Yemen. He sent me a picture of a group of people including him sitting at a table in a restaurant wearing elegant clothes – he told me that it had been a business meeting just before their leaving for Yemen. And that he was getting excited because he hadn’t talked to a lady since he lost his wife. He wanted to be my friend and asked if I accepted his friendship. He also wrote that he was gonna work in night shift that night so he may not be able to say goodbye after leaving his tent because he won’t have net.
I didn’t answer back. I thought again: This is weird and embarrassing. This man wants some kind of romantic relationship – and I just wanted to speak to someone about the world in English.
But as I have mentioned above, I didn’t want to be rude or impolite. He’s an old gentleman, after all. So on Monday (February 6) I wrote back to him and told him that I thought he was looking for some kind of romantic relationship or friendship with a lady and in this case I was definitely not the right person for him. He wrote back, no, he respected my marriage, and one day he would like to visit me and my husband in Hungary. And how he had loved his wife, she was his only love in his life, he missed her a lot etc. He doesn’t want to start over because nobody can hold a candle to his wife or he doesn’t want anyone to pretend to love him just because of his wealth (yes, according to his facebook pictures, he’s kind of wealthy).
He even sent me a picture of him and his wife – he said the photo was taken in 2014 in Sun Valley. In the photo you can really see this man from Facebook (he was younger then) and a pretty lady similar to his age. Then he told me about his grandson, Jason, who is living in a boarding school in Florida and hates him because he got stuck in his grief and hasn’t cared much about him recently.
He’s on a 2-year mission in Yemen, he’s gonna back to the States next January. His grandson doesn’t have a father, because his daughter had a one-night stand (his private life story is getting more interesting) and died, so it was him and his wife who (grandparents) raised their grandson. But Jason’s birthday is very close and of course he wants to give him gifts. His grandson asked him for a new phone and a video game.
But he doesn’t have access to his bank account because he had a joint account with his wife and after her death he was so devastated that he didn’t care about it. But he’s gonna fix it when he gets back to the States next year.
So he can’t buy the gift for his son. He would need a loan from someone. He has a lot of money, he said, and properties. But he doesn’t know who could help him.
And he was getting very annoying. He kept sending me crying emojis, and told me he was a failure, he was alone, he was a mess.
There’s no one in the USA who could help. And then came the change. He told me that I was his only and best friend in the world – I have to help him. I have to buy the phone (Iphone 14) and the video game.
He is willing to sign a document about the loan, he will pay me the triple of the price back. Of course I wrote him I couldn’t help. But he continued. He asked me I would buy at least one of the gifts – the Iphone or the video game. Or just buy an Apple gift card or a steam card. He was getting pushy and arrogant.
He told me he cursed on all his dead folks’ gravestone he would pay me back. And he would do the same for me – Oh, my God, really? And I should help a mourning widowed grandfather. And I was so stupid that I didn’t know until the very last moment that I was not talking to the old man whose pictures I can see on Facebook. But this very last moment came – he wrote me I should register on bitcoin.com – he sent me the link. And then I deleted and block his account. End of story.
As I already wrote I don’t know if it’s a fake facebook account or this old man’s account has been hacked. I suppose that his PC has also been hijacked and all his private life (information and photos) has been stolen. Because this filthy scammer sent me pictures of this man!!
I should have saved the pictures he sent me of this old gentleman, so I could have sent them to you. And I regret not screening the whole messenger conversation but of course, I didn’t suspect I should. I saved one picture of him and perhaps his friends. I’ll enclose it – it is the grey-haired man in the middle. I hope something can be done to stop the scammer and to inform this old man somehow that he has been scammed and his identity is abused.
Well, this affair was very edifying – I became more suspicious about online stuff. I sort of reinforced my Facebook account – only my Facebook friends’ friends can send me friend requests and no one can post on my timeline. And of course I did research on this scum topic after this “accident” (that’s how I found you, too) – I should have done it before.
I hope I could help you. If you post this scum scam on your account
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